Chapter

Evolvable Systems: From Biology to Hardware

Volume 1478 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 13-24

Date:

On the automatic design of robust electronics through artificial evolution

  • Adrian ThompsonAffiliated withCentre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, School of Cognitive & Computing Sciences, University of Sussex

Abstract

‘Unconstrained intrinsic hardware evolution’ allows an evolutionary algorithm freedom to find the forms and processes natural to a reconfigurable VLSI medium. It has been shown to produce highly unconventional but extremely compact FPGA configurations for simple tasks, but these circuits are usually not robust enough to be useful: they malfunction if used on a slightly different FPGA, or at a different temperature. After defining an ‘operational envelope’ of robustness, the feasibility of performing fitness evaluations in widely varying physical conditions in order to provide a selection-pressure for robustness is demonstrated. Preliminary experimental results are encouraging.